The Best 4 Stroke Weed Eater for Your Needs

Best 4 stroke weed eater

Why would anyone buy a 4 cycle weed wacker anyway?

The main reason most people gravitate towards buying a 4 stroke engine model for their hand held yard power equipment is convenience.

The convenience of being able to use straight unleaded gasoline without mixing oil and maintaining a separate fuel can for their small equipment.

But there are other reasons too.

A 4 cycle engine is typically quieter, in relative terms, than a 2 cycle engine.

They usually have more efficient and complete fuel combustion which makes for less emissions and less unpleasant exhaust odor.

Additionally, there is less opportunity to get the oil/gas ratio wrong in your fuel mixture and risk your engine seizing up as might be the case with a 2 cycle engine.

We’ve researched what’s out there in the way of 4 stroke weed trimmers, what’s good, what’s not, which are better for various tasks and so on. Here, we let you in on what we’ve discovered.

A Note on Straight Shaft vs. Curved Shaft

All of the trimmers listed here are straight shaft trimmers.

However, the Troy-Bilt TB575EC is also sold with a curved shaft.

Straight shaft trimmers have the advantage of transferring power more efficiently to the trimmer head.

They also allow the user to get under bushes and low obstacles more effectively.

They can often be more awkward for shorter people to use due to the high angle necessary for ground level trimming.

Also, any attachment features require a straight shaft.

Our Top Pick: Husqvarna 324L 17-inch

We chose this trimmer as our top pick because it not only does its function extremely well, but it also consistently gets great user ratings, and the company has a solid history of quality products and good customer service. Plus it comes with a generous 2 year product warranty.

Husqvarna 324L 4-Cycle 18' Cutting Path Gas String Trimmer,Orange


What sets the Husqvarna 324L apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the Husqvarna 324L the right string trimmer for you?

We think you’ll really like the Husqvarna 324L 4 stroke 17 inch string trimmer for its all around quality, user satisfaction and ease of use. Husqvarna is a solid brand that has been around for a very long time and maintained its high reputation throughout its history so you can’t go wrong there. This particular model is somewhat heavy so you’ll probably want to add a strap or harness.

It is mostly a basic trimmer but it does not have a split shaft to allow non-trimmer attachments like blowers, cultivators or edgers. If you want a more all-in-one piece of lawn equipment, you might want to check out the Poulan Pro PP428S or the Troy-Bilt TB575EC, both listed below.

Easiest to Start: Honda HHT25SLTA 17-inch

We chose this trimmer for it’s consistent ease of starting. But it has a lot of other features to commend it as a great choice in 4 stroke trimmers.

Honda GX25 Engine


What sets the Honda HHT25SLTA apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the Honda HHT25SLTA the right string trimmer for you?

The Honda HHT25SLTA is a great machine from another company with a super reputation for customer satisfaction in small engine equipment. This particular trimmer boasts a lot of great features that make it a great pick for the residential user. We think you’ll like the fact that it is one of the easiest trimmers to get started, usually on the first pull. It is well balanced for easy maneuverability and comes with a harness and safety glasses for added user comfort.

While it is capable of accepting brush cutter attachments on the trimmer head, it does not have a split shaft for adding non-trimmer attachments like cultivators, blowers and edgers. If you are interested in those features, we recommend you see the Poulan Pro or Troy-Bilt models listed below.

Best for Commercial Work: Makita EM2652LHN 17-inch

This trimmer is our pick for a lightweight trimmer that’s durable and powerful enough to stand up to regular use as a commercial trimmer. It is purpose-built to only be a string trimmer.

String Trimmer, 25CC, 17 in Cutting Width


What sets the Makita EM2652LHN apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the Makita EM2652LHN​ the right string trimmer for you?

We really like the Makita EM2652LHN for its solid reputation and high efficiency solid steel drive shaft. You’ll like the fact that the commercial duty engine will be strong enough to cut through a lot of weeds without getting bogged down. This machine will stand up to more regular use than its residential counterparts.

You’ll appreciate this trimmer if you want a dedicated trimmer and don’t need a lot of other attachments or even brush cutter blades to put on your string trimmer head. Below, you’ll find more options for attachment capable trimmers such as the Poulan Pro or Troy-Bilt models listed here.

Best for Attachments: Poulan Pro PP428S 16-inch

We like this trimmer for its ability to add lots of useful attachment accessories, making this a versatile all-in-one piece of power equipment for your lawn and garden needs.

Poulan Pro PP428S, 16 in. 28cc 2-Cycle Gas Straight Shaft String Trimmer


What sets the Poulan Pro PP428S apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the Poulan pro PP428S the right string trimmer for you?

We were really taken with the versatility of the Poulan pro PP428S 4 stroke string trimmer. The ability to add a number of high quality attachments makes this string trimmer great for the homeowner who wants to have a versatile all-in-one yard work machine. Maybe you’d like to have a pole saw to trim the surrounding branches and then a blower to clean up after lots of trimming and leaf raking, then you will enjoy this trimmer with accessory attachment capability. It is reasonably priced in the market and gets positive ratings for easy feeding of the trim line and it has a large engine.

It doesn’t have the largest cutting swath. It’s probably not a huge difference for the residential user but if you want more cut for each swing of the trimmer, you might try a different trimmer listed here. For the largest cutting swath, check out the MTD Southwest TB685EC Trimmer listed below.

Lowest Priced: Troy-Bilt TB575EC 17-inch

This trimmer is one of the lowest priced trimmers in its class, allowing lots of attachments for the straight shaft version.

Troy-Bilt TB575 EC 29cc 4-Cycle 17-Inch Straight Shaft Trimmer


What sets the Troy-Bilt TB575EC apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the Troy-Bilt TB575EC the right string trimmer for you?

The Troy-Bilt TB575EC is the most affordable model in the 4 stroke trimmer class at an MSRP of under $200. If you choose to purchase the starting accessory, you will like the Jump Start feature that allows you to turn over the engine using a hand drill or the dedicated Jump Start motorized starter. This is an awesome feature for those who get frustrated with pull-cord starting of small engines or lack the muscle power to be able to start them, such as smaller women or young people.

You will appreciate the ability to add attachments like a blower or cultivator. If you are looking for a trimmer with a stronger engine that will not bog down with heavy commercial duty use, you might check out the Makita EM2652LHN list above.

We should mention one final trimmer that deserves a listing here. The MTD Southwest TB685EC Natural Organic is a Troy-Bilt product that meets California Emissions Standards. With the largest engine and largest cutting swath of all those listed here, it has a lot of positive features to commend it.

MTD Southwest TB685EC Natural Organic 4Cyc Stainless Steel Gas Trimmer, 17'


What sets the MTD Southwest TB685EC apart from the rest?

What could be better?

Is the MTD Southwest TB685EC the right string trimmer for you?

If you live in California, or you are just interested in having the lowest emissions for your 4 stroke trimmer, then you will be interested in the MTD Southwest TB685EC Natural Organic trimmer. It has the biggest engine and the widest cutting swath of all the trimmers listed here. You will also like the adjustability of the handle that makes it especially attractive for left-handed users.

3 thoughts on “The Best 4 Stroke Weed Eater for Your Needs”

  1. Straight up4 strokes are the simplest weed trimmers i have ever seen in operation. Husqvarna seems to be a good brand, i need one to trim off cuts of lawn that grow under my fence, real hard to get rid of with mower.
    Used to have one that attached to a power lead, now that was a pain in the neck! Wireless is the way to go, less chance of tripping over yourself, especially as I’m clumsy enough anyway….

    • Hi Brian, There are definitely advantages to cordless trimmers. But corded have their advantages too, depending on your situation. Something for everyone! Thanks for the input.


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